Area Health Systems Stand Together Against Pandemic

The unprecedented action results in a call to "choose courage" against COVID-19.

January 7, 2021

Each day seems to bring record numbers of people needing hospital care for COVID-19. In response, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Cone Health and Novant Health are looking at ways to coordinate efforts. They are also taking the unprecedented step of launching a joint media campaign to slow the escalating numbers.

Medical professionals from Wake Forest Baptist Health, Cone Health and Novant Health have been communicating since the beginning of the pandemic. Recently, this has turned into weekly planning calls with physician leaders, emergency management teams and nursing leaders. This coordination will allow for coordination of medical care across the region, if necessary.

And because public action can reduce the number of infections, a multi-media public service campaign has begun. Billboards, commercials and online ads are appearing throughout the Triad urging the public to “choose courage” and recommit to the 3Ws. The hope is that through such public action, we will stem the growth in COVID-19 cases in the area.

“Working with our local health system colleagues to exchange ideas and strategies during this pandemic has allowed us to produce critically important safety communications in record time,” says Denise Potter, chief communications, marketing and media officer with Wake Forest Baptist Health. “The messages are clear, the images are authentic, and our goal for this campaign is to have a positive impact in the communities we all serve.”

Area Health Systems Stand Together Against Pandemic

Wake Forest Baptist Health, Cone Health and Novant Health media campaign asks community to "choose courage" against COVID-19. 

While the eye-catching black and white images could reflect the starkness of the pandemic, they show the strength of people refusing to surrender their lives to it. Many of the images of health care workers come from area health systems. 

The entire campaign was created in a couple of weeks. “Using our combined communications expertise, market knowledge and shared commitment to keeping our communities safe, we see an opportunity to bend the curve of rising cases,” says Chuck Wallington, executive vice president, chief communications officer, Cone Health. “The level of collaboration and the sense of urgency among our organizations has been phenomenal.”

Billboards are appearing throughout the Triad. The public service announcements ae airing on News 2, FOX 8, WXII 12, ABC 45 and Spectrum cable. Medical executives from Cone Health, Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health recently appeared jointly on a 30-minute program on FOX 8.

“Vaccinations are well underway but it’s still a critical time for our community,” said Chad Setliff, president of Novant Health’s Winston-Salem market. “We’re united in the fight against COVID-19 and we’re calling on the community to join us. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay safe. We’ll get through this, together.”

Media contacts:

Joe McCloskey, jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu336-716-1273